Nittany Lion Tennis Falls to No. 49 N.C. State in Season Opener, 5-2
Jan. 18, 2009
RALEIGH, N.C. - The 38th- ranked Penn State men's tennis team dropped its season opener at 49th-ranked N.C. State on Sunday afternoon at the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center. Penn State falls to 0-1 this season while the Wolfpack improve to 2-0.
The Wolfpack took the early advantage on the Nittany Lions as they won the doubles point. From there, N.C. State did not look back and took the match with a final score of 5-2.
In doubles action, senior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) and junior Guillaume St-Maurice (Saint-Eustache, Quebec) knocked off the N.C. State tandem of Justin Jendruch and Frideric Prandecki by a score of 8-3 in the third doubles match. The Nittany Lion team came out dominating leading 6-1. The Wolfpack tandem gave Lynch and St-Maurice a scare winning the next two games. The Lion squad marched back though to win the final two games and captured the 8-3 victory.
The No. 2 bout featured junior Ryan Gormley (Las Vegas, Nev.) and sophomore Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) and N.C. State's Jamie Pulgar and Jay Weinacker. With the Lions tandem leading early 3-2 heading into the sixth game, N.C. State's pairing picked it up and never looked back, as they won the final six games to take the 8-3 victory.
That set up the No.1 matchup with senior Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas) and freshman Jason Lee (Sydney, Australia) taking on N.C. State's Julian Sullivan and Christian Welte. Slagter and Lee jumped out to an early 5-2 commanding lead on the Wolfpack tandem. N.C. State marched back however and the 16th game ended with both pairs tied at eight. N.C. State took the tie-breaker point winning the match-up, 9-8 (3), and garnered the doubles point.
With N.C. State leading 1-0, the match turned to singles competition. The momentum was clearly on N.C. State's side immediately as Weinacker took the first set from Slagter in the No. 1 bout, 6-2. Heading into the second set, Slagter took a 4-3 lead on Weinacker, who is ranked 56th nationally. However, the N.C. State standout marched back and won the final three games and took the set 6-4. N.C. State had a 2-0 lead. N.C. State continued to take control of the match as Pulgar defeated Lee in the No. 4 singles matchup. Pulgar easily took the first set 6-2. In the second set, Lee hung around and stayed close with Pulgar being down 5-4. However, Pulgar took the tenth game and the set, 6-4. N.C. State led 3-0 at that point.
Gormley stepped up for the Lions and cut N.C. State's lead to 3-1 after he beat the Wolfpack's Derek Stephens in straight sets. In the first set, Gormley came out dominating 3-0 early and never looked back winning the set 6-1. In the second set, Gormley found himself down to Stephens 4-3, but came back winning the final three games to win the set 6-4 and earning a point for the Nittany Lions.
The clinching match came at No. 2 where the 125th ranked Welte knocked off Lynch in three sets to give N.C. State the victory. In the first set, Lynch led 4-3, but could not hold on as Welte came back and took the frame 6-4. Lynch stormed back though in the second set, knocking off Welte 6-1. With Lynch having the momentum heading into the third set, Welte showed no sign of letting up as he marched away with the 6-3 set victory and clinched the match point for N.C. State.
With the match already determined, St-Maurice picked up a nice victory over Sullivan in straight sets. St-Maurice swept Sullivan in the first set 6-0. In the second set, Sullivan took an early 1-0 lead, but could not hold it as St-Maurice came back and took the set, 6-2, to win the match.
In the finals single matchup, sophomore Benji Kendall (Villanova, Pa.) lost in straight sets to N.C. State's David Chermak 6-4, 7-6 (4).
Penn State will open its home season next Saturday with a doubleheader against St. Bonaventure and St. Joe's at the Penn State Indoor Tennis Center. The Nittany Lions will host ITA Kickoff Weekend on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 with Florida State, Duke, and Oklahoma State.
Final Score: #49 N.C. State 5 def. #38 Penn State 2